This is my sister’s biggest pet peeve — that I don’t give advice like most older sisters do. Here’s why.
Let’s be real.
We never ask for advice to genuinely want an opinion. More often than not, we ask advice to validate our choice, to be triple sure that what we’re doing is right. We’ve most definitely made up our minds, followed our guts. What we really need is someone to push us to tell us we’re on the right path.
We hate it when someone tells us otherwise. And to be honest, it only makes us more confused and we spend more time pondering contradictory opinion like the world’s gone mad.
I never take advice because when people give advice, it’s often from their world perspective, their life context, not mine. People mean well, most of the time, but they rarely see why you’ve made a choice from your perspective. Even those closest to you, never truly understand what factors compelled you to make a choice.
When I have taken advice, I have often felt that crutch in my heart, internally beating myself up, knowing I should have followed my heart anyway. An outfit that didn’t feel quite right. A dinner choice I didn’t quite enjoy. Sent a boy a message that wasn’t really me, was someone else’s voice. Changed a word on a presentation that diminished the impact. Redesigned a layout and lost its impact. You get the drift.
The people around you know bits and pieces of you, you show them parts of you because you interact with them in different contexts. And when they give advice they put your decision within the context of their lives, not yours, not your vision — so it’s never really accurate.
Your mum doesn’t know the vibe of your colleagues to tell you if your work social outfit is bang on or not. Your ex boss hasn’t seen how much you’ve grown in your current role to know what’s best for you next. Your friend who’s only heard the parts of the relationship you share will never give you the best advice because she’s not in deep with your partner. I have not gone through every uni lecture my sister’s gone through to give specific career advice.
And people are rational when they give opinion and advice — but life’s never logical, so why listen to “right” advice. Follow your heart and take the risk.
This is precisely why I never give advice even when people ask me for one.
The only advice I follow and give others is: What’s your gut telling you? What’s the worst that can happen?
And if you’re really confused, draw lots and go with it. There’s no right or wrong in life, you just live it and roll with whatever comes your way.
And please don’t give unsolicited advice — even if you feel they’re making the wrong decision — it’s their decision to make and learn from, not yours.